Trip Planning

Escaping to the Catskills

Jeff Crider shares all that the Catskills have to offer, making this location a must-visit this summer.

The Catskill Mountains of New York are one of America’s great escapes, particularly for RVers who live and work in the greater New York City area. Known as the "Birthplace of American Fly Fishing," the Catskills are heavily wooded and filled with lakes, streams, waterfalls, hiking and biking trails, and great places to go rock climbing — all terrific ingredients for a perfect mid-week or weekend getaway. Americans have been escaping to the Catskills for generations. The Catskills is the place, in fact, where the famous Woodstock musical festival took place in 1969, drawing nearly 500,000 Americans from all walks of life who sought a temporary respite from protests and unrest involving everything from Civil Rights to the Vietnam War. A museum and conservatory for arts education, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, now marks the site in Bethel, N.Y. where one of the world’s most famous music festivals took place. The lush 800-acre campus includes a pavilion stage amphitheater with seating for 16,000 as well as an intimate 422-seat indoor event gallery, with numerous concerts and festivals scheduled throughout the year. 

Nearby campgrounds include Jellystone Park in Greenfield Park and Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds in Saugerties.

Encompassing portions of Green, Ulster, Delaware and Sullivan counties, the Catskills offer something for everyone, including scenic drives with historic covered bridgesHiking trails are located in beautiful locations all over the Catskills. The 7.5-mile trail to Sam’s Point in Minnewaska State Park features breathtaking views as well as an aerial view of 180-foot Verkeerderkill Falls. This hike includes wooden ladder scrambling and views of ice caves, tight rock crevasses lined with ice left over from winter storms. Other challenging hikes include the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower trail, an 8.2 mile-hike with nearly 1,900 feet of elevation gain. The views from the 4,040-foot Hunter Mountain Fire Tower on a clear day are spectacular and extend into three states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont. The highest cascading waterfall in New York is also found in the Catskills — (Surprise! It’s NOT Niagara Falls!) Kaaterskill Falls drops 260 feet over two tiers and is a great hiking destination. Nearby campgrounds include Camp Catskills in Catskill.Brook N Wood Family Campground in Elizaville, and  Whip-O-Will Campsites in Purling.

For those who prefer to hit the trails with two wheels instead of two feet, Delaware County has a robust list of biking trails with cycling experiences for every level, from flat trails to some of the toughest climbs in the Catskills. Nearby campgrounds include Nickerson Catskill Mountain Campground and Country Roads Campground, both in Gilboa. Fly fishing enthusiasts, for their part, will find plenty of opportunities to test their skills in the Catskills, with Roscoe, N.Y. in Sullivan County having been named "Trout Town USA." Great fly-fishing basecamps include Roscoe Campsite Park in Roscoe and Never Sink River Resort in Godeffroy. The Catskills also offer many other opportunities for family fun, including guided rafting, kayaking, and canoeing trips down the Delaware River. Zoom Flume Waterpark in Leeds is also a popular destination for families with children seeking waterpark adventures. Campgrounds specific to the Catskills can be found at and

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.